Saturday, December 3, 2011


TEN GREEN FIR TREES HANGING ON A BRANCH!  and if one green fir tree should...

.... Sing on!

Make yourself merry by using eyelets and grommets on your Christmas presents.
I did
I really love grommets. There is something elegant about that a brass enclosed opening.
So I made a  Christmas tree with 24 grommet holes. It was a bit of a challenge though, to
figure out how to fasten each present on the back, when its ribbon had been strung through the brass opening. So tree number two was done differently. One of the 24 presents was small a set tree decorations.
Feel free to copy; that is, if you have the snap tool or the grommet tool.
Visit Harbor Freight for a the grommets. They  also have gloves which are perfect for quilting.
With hundreds of small rubber dots.
And much much more to go on your list for Christmas.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


It being Thanksgiving weekend I fell behind my weekly schedule. A shame, since I had intended to thank Pia publicly Thursday for repairing the sleeves of my sweater. Well, I'm sure she has been too busy using her French cooking skills to prepare Thanksgivings dinner, so here are my delayed thanks.
Let me explain why Pia's good deed is of special significance.
The sweater is a work of art - in my opinion - by my sister Esther. She died in 2003 and I was given the sweater by her husband.
I wear it every winter, as soon as it starts to get cold, hence the red border on the edges of the sleeves began to 'undo' themselves.
My knitting skills are next to nothing, so who else to turn to than  my neighbor and friend, fiber artist, weaver, sheep farmer, and fellow Scandinavian. And she was so pleased that she had the correct color yarn, and she had it done in no time and I got the sweater back almost as new.
But this is not the end of the story, because I began to wonder if 'knitting' should even have a place on this blog, for it's not a fabric, or is it?
Wikipedia says:
"Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth"
and "Knit, knitted or knitting may also refer to knitted fabric"
So there you have it, but no, my sweater is definitely not made of a fabric. Maybe the distinction is between machine knitted and hand knitted?
 Reading on I became aware of a very interesting fact and I quote: " Within the 1940's  English knitting rose in popularity while Continental knitting fell. This is due to the fact that Continental knitting originated within Germany and was spread by immigrants, During WW II Continental knitting fell out of style due to its relationship with Germany." Here is definitely a subject for a Ph.D. thesis for  a graduate student of textile arts. By the way it reminds me of something during a former crisis, oh, not eating French fries. When was that and why?? I've forgotten.
The brit Elizabeth Zimmerman reintroduced Continental style into this country, and her motto was: 
"Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Common Thread?

A program called "Common Thread" linked the quilters from Gees Bend, a West Alabama community,
to African mud painters from the West African country Mali, was held this entire week at the Alys B.Stephens Center, at UAB.
The black color is created, when the mud painted cotton fabric is washed in rivers containing large amount of iron. The iron acts as a mordant.

 Laverne from the guild volunteering with the community  quilt.

 Inspired by the plant and mud dyers, I went home and dug up some plant died cotton fabric from my stash.The green is parsley, the brown and dark yellow onion, the bright yellow goldenrod, and the beige, I believe is pokeweed berries, which strangely enough doesn't yield much color.
 Something local for the community quilt. They are still looking for more 10 x10  blocks.

The previous day, last Tuesday to be correct, in another part of town, 15 women from the guild, lead by Kathy created 15 very different purses, all from the same pattern. Mine, by sheer coincidence, took up the African theme of my week.

Last Tuesday I made a bag in a class taught by a fellow guildmember, Kathy.
 We were 15 ladies all making very diffrent purses.
 Wednesday I went to see and listen to two Afrcan Painter from Mali, mudpainters.
 They spoke French and the little French i once was able to utter has completely disappeared,
 but their language - mud art- was beautiful.   The balck color appears when washing
 the woven cotton in river water. The iron in the water acts as mordant.
 The gees bend Quilters and several fellow quilters were there.
The program
was called Common Thread and sponsored by ArtPlay and UAB et al.
Lillis said they would still take squares for the community quilt so I huried home and found my samples of plant dies cotton, to make my contribution  from local plants, goldenrod predominant among the colors, but also parsley and onion using different mordants.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Vintage Aprons

The reproduction print of a small dog was chosen especially for Malinda,
my daughter in law and loving owner of a new tiny dog, Ruby.
I'm glad she liked her vintage apron, the fabrics were reproduction prints.

One of Gwen's original 40's prints was used on a second apron,
now available at PrimeTime Treasures, Homewood.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Global Economy at the Fabric Store

 Hancock Fabrics is the last place one expects to discuss world economics. Right?
 However, last week I found myself,  if not  discussing, at least making a chirp about
just that.
 And elderly lady-  she said she were a quilter - was asking one of the assistants about the best thread
for quilting. But she mumbled something about it had to be American made.
 When the assistant pointed to Gutermann ( I don't have the patience to find the program that
 lets me put the two 'umlaut'  dots on the 'u' ) and said it was the best, she picked it up and said
 "Made in  Greece"
 That was news to me, all this time I thought it was German.
 Anyway, again silly me, I plunged into a conversation I had not been invited to join- some may say
 that's typical - and I told her that Greece right now needed all the help it could get, even if it was just a few spools of thread, and that the Buy American is out of date in this global economy. She had already walked off with her American spool before the last bit.
 Since then I have tried to figure out how much of the three aprons I just finished is American, Greek, and Chinese.
Ah yes, the Europeans, in order to help out Greece had to phone China for a possible loan.
Rather than go to the trouble of analyzing my aprons, I'm happy to announce that my aprons are totally global.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guess What They Are?
These are the fruits from my "Juglans Californica" tree, and since I didn't get any last year, I can't wait to get my fingers dirty- literally, if I'm not careful - this year. I'll find recipes in my books on natural dyes, but you can google 'dyeing with black walnuts' and many dyers willingly give their recipes for browns, grays and blacks. October ought to be called Natural Dyes Months. Goldenrod are everywhere begging to have their heads chopped off and supplying us with wonderful yellows and greens. Sharon Bull told me about a website of an artist using the black walnuts for her 'mouthwatering' fabric art.Check out whispering/

Black Walnuts

Friday, October 7, 2011


When the handles on my box for my computer broke, and I still had many 'one to one' hours left, I made myself an Apple bag for hauling it up to the store. 
Those lessons have been invaluable and my bag has lasted already a long time. 
The blue canvas was leftover from a project long time ago and it matched the T-shirts of all the Apple employees.
This photo is MY tribute to a man with exquisite style.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Name of my Blog

Last year was the first time I tried to sell some of my fabric creations. I needed a name.
I chose SUNSTITCH. The evolution of this name is explained on my webpage:
I also write a different blog: "brev fra Alabama" It's is very exclusive, in that it can only be read by the approx. 5 millions, who understand Danish. But writing it forces me to use my native language.
Having written every two weeks for more than a year, I think I have disciplined myself enough to try yet another blog; this time to tell about my love affair with fabrics.
Let me explain my fabric shelf. I'm big on recycling, so when I saw this shelf at the back of my school building, I asked if I could take it.
ROTC had to have bigger shelves - maybe for bigger boots - and yes it was mine for the taking.
Luckily we have a friend, who could bring it home in his pick-up truck.
It then sat in the garage for ten years unused - until I retired.
That's six years ago and I had the grand idea that I was a quilter.
After five years with the BQG, I'm not so sure. More about this on later posts.
But fabrics. Oh, I love fabrics, and can't wait the share some of my prize finds with you'll.
I'm new to Blogspot, and I'm still trying to figure out all it's intricacies. So bear with me.
I'll see if I can post every week? I't wont hurt, if I get some feedback, so please e-mail me.
Any comment will be cherished.

new blog format

Today D.J has helped me troubleshoot blogspot.